Relationship of Ahom to Khamti and ShSn.—Like Khamti and Shan,
belongs to the Northern Sub-Group of the Tai Group of languages It ism an
T stage of linguistic development, and is therefore of considerable philological interest
It bears something of the same relationship to them that Sanskrit does to Pali, but the
relationship is much closer. Khamti and Shan have not developed so far from Ahom, as
Pali has from Sanskrit, In one point, however, there is close resemblance between the
two relationships. This consists in the simplification of compound consonants Ahom
17ir, pi and other compound consonants are simplified into kk, p, etc , m Ebamti and
Siian, just as Sanskrit &hrtjplt and other compound consonants become Js7i} p3 etc , in Pali.
Siamese occupies an intermediate position Compound consonants aie written, but are not alnajs pi o-
nouneed Thus in tbe word phlSp, tmhghts the I is pronounced, but in chi^ng, truly, the r is not heard, and the
•word is pronounced chwg Someumes, instead of the second membei of the compound "being unpionounced,
a very shore Yo-rcel (like the avardbhakfa familiar to students of languages derived from Sanskrit) is inseited
betn sen the two letters Thus the word tl$t, a market, IB pronounced i Int.
It is not necessary to give examples of tbe changes which befall compound conso-
nants, as they have been dealt with under the head of the alphabet. I shall here confine
myself to considering what other changes, if any, occur in the transition from Ahom to
the modern Northern Tad languages
1 As a rule, the Ahom vowels are retained in Khamti and Shan. There are very
few exceptions, such as Ahom. /chrung, divide, Khamti and Shan khvnff.
2. As regards consonants the following changes occur —
(a) Ahom b usually corresponds to Khamti or Shan w. Thus,—
Sometimes it becomes m. Thus,—
m&n or w&n
m&w or wHw
-^ --------- -- ...... _^_1
— ______ __ ________
In Shan, the uneducated frequently pronounce »"M if it was b.
(b) Ahom d becomes Khamti and 8han n or I. Thus,-
star Siamese dau.
good. Siamese di
ground. Siamese din.
moon. Siamese duen